Some of the News Fit to Print
ABOUT HIGHER ED
JERRY BROWN URGES UC TO STRESS GRADUATING STUDENTS IN FOUR YEARS
SACRAMENTO — The graduation rates of UC students came under more scrutiny Wednesday as Gov. Jerry Brown urged administrators and faculty to prod more undergraduates to earn a degree in four years, not six. Brown recently proposed giving UC and Cal State more funds if they increase their graduation rates by 10% by 2017. UC leaders have said that is an admirable but unreasonable goal and that such issues as students' outside employment and their desire to take double majors slow them down. The article is in the LA Times.
TEXAS LAUNCHES ONLINE TOOL TO COMPARE STATE’S HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launched Compare College TX, an online interactive tool designed to make the most relevant data about public higher education. The online comparison tool allows users to access and interact with information for every public university and community college, including tuition and fees, graduation rates, and salaries for graduates by major. The article is from the Houston Chronicle.
REACHING STUDENTS EARLY
College-going rates could go up significantly if students in high school received counseling as freshmen, and not just when they are juniors and seniors, a new study from the National Association for College Admission Counseling says. The impact may be greatest on those in groups less likely than others to go to college. Among high school freshmen whose parents did not hold a bachelor’s degree, the study found positive correlations between. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
YALE JOINS THE MOOC CLUB
Yale announced on Wednesday that it would soon offer MOOCs through Coursera, the Silicon Valley-based company. Yale plans to offer four courses beginning in January, focusing on constitutional law, financial markets, morality, and Roman architecture. The move was a long time coming. Yale, which in 2007 became among the first institutions to make its course content available free on the Web with its Open Yale Courses lecture series, has taken a distinctly deliberate approach to MOOCs. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
TRYING TO RESET ONLINE FIGHT
Seeking to “reset” a contentious debate about the role of technology in California public higher education, the authors of a new report argue that California policy makers need a statewide approach to end what they call years of isolated, segmented and ineffective online offerings. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
ONLY ONE TEACHER EVALUATION SYSTEM?
Pearson Foundation Senior Fellow John Wilson writes in his John Wilson Unleashed blog in Education Week: How much longer are we going to continue down the path of absurdity seeking the promised land of teacher evaluations? Spending millions of dollars on complicated and convoluted systems that only demoralize teachers will eventually result in backlash from taxpayers and voters. Evaluating teachers on student test scores will inevitably prove once again that low income students do not test as well as affluent students and that effective teachers who want good evaluations will move to schools with higher income students. Coupling test scores of students to the evaluations of teachers who never taught those children will never hold up in court. The irony in all this is that there is an effective system for teacher evaluations, one that has been around since the 1980's. Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) programs have been the exemplar for strong teacher evaluation systems. Teachers trained to evaluate their peers are able to distinguish the inexperienced from the ineffective---a significant difference from other evaluation systems---and can help teachers improve their practice.